The Hustle

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Well as you can see it is obvious who I am writing about, that’s Right Pete “the cheat” “Charlie hustle” Rose. Now for many this is an open and shut case. He bet on baseball he should be banned for life. Slam the door shut, lock it, deadbolt it three times and put a chair under the doorknob to make sure this door never gets opened again.

This is how he has been, and is to be handled. Forget you Pete, You may have played 20 years, had a .303 lifetime average and the most hits of any player ever to play Major League Baseball. Canton will forget your 15 all star appearances (would have been 16 but he was injured) that he was an all star at 5 positions 2b, 3b, 1b, RF and LF the only player to do this. He has the most wins of any player to play the game. He played over 500 games at 5 different positions. He played the game harder than anyone. Pete Rose trucked the catcher in the all star game just to win. This is an example of what it meant for Pete to win. If there was a score board he better be the one with the best score. That score board meant more to him than any other play on any given day. It showed on every fly out or tap back to the mound. He would be hustling. He was the Best hitter since Ty Cobb, Ted Williams and Stan Musial. There may not be anyone who breaks his career hits record. He made a run at Joe Dimaggio’s Hit streak record ending with a tied NL record 44 games. Thanks for the memories Pete, screw you and how you played the game.

So Pete managed his team the Reds, the team he loved and cherished playing for. He gambled on baseball. Yes this is deplorable. He was a habitual gambler on sports. The Infamous 225 page Dowd Report came out and posed accusations of Mr. Rose betting on baseball. Rose agreed to a lifetime ban with a chance to be reinstated. 1992 he applied for reinstatement. The Commissioner, Fay Vincent, decided not to act on the application. By stating the was never a reason to consider this. Mr. Vincent really? What part of his playing career didn’t you like? Was it the Ray Foss moment? Was it the 44 game hit streak ending and Pete being upset that it was over? Is this a personal vendetta against Rose?  I think it is. Whatever your reasons were for not even considering Rose for a Reinstatement and throwing the application away it terrible. We are not trying to nominate him for man of the year in baseball. Yes Fay, I know you were the assistant commissioner that had a chip on your shoulder and lead the investigation, after it was closed by the preceding commissioner Peter Ueberroth. You were the main reason he got a lifetime ban. In a recent interview (Dan Barreiro ) you were saying that to be in the Hall of Fame, your character should match your on the field performance. So should they kick everyone out who had an extra marital affair? The public nuisance of some one like Babe Ruth? Let’s go to other sports, how about Lawrence Taylor or OJ Simpson for examples? Should they be swiftly kicked out of the Hall of Fame in their respective sport? You also were saying that Pete was in your opinion betting as a player. Would you really go back 35 years and investigate this?  If you want to tarnish Pete Rose’s name, congratulations you did it. You were made famous for this action alone. Your hate for Rose is over 30 years old, give it a rest.

On to the current MLB commissioner Bud Selig. He also saw an application for reinstatement come across his desk. Bud decided to find the trash can and ignore this attempt back in. Bud may be the worst of all sports commissioners. He made an All Star Game “count” by having it determine Home field advantage for the World Series. He Tried to eliminate a National and American League team (Expos {now Nationals} and the Twins). He has expanded the playoffs twice, making the longest sport season drag on even longer.  Selig has not made baseball better, he is Booed deservingly in every stadium . This crusty “Boss” has no idea what is good for the game of baseball. Selig doesn’t know if he is coming or going. He will never meet with Pete or even take his call.

Peter Ueberroth was the original commissioner for the Pete Rose betting case. He dropped it. He didn’t feel the need to continue with it. He then proceeded to step down as commissioner. Peter has an interesting resume’. He Reinstated previous Gamblers and Hall of Famers, you might know the names, Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle. Yes, they worked at a casino and that was part of the gambling act in baseball at the time to be banned. Mickey thought it was crap and worked for the casino anyways.

With all this being said, Pete needs to be in the Hall of Fame. He needs to be reinstated into baseball on some level. Don’t let him manage, I am fine with that. There is a place in history for Pete Rose. Give him his recognition as one of baseball’s finest players, after all that is exactly what he was.

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Well as the LA Kings in the NHL seem to have everything rolling in the right Direction, a guy who has dubbed himself King is sputtering towards elimination VS Boston in the Conference finals. Of course I am talking about Lebron James.

It is well known that I am not a fan of his since “the decision”. He keeps giving me more reasons to dislike him. When I was once a fan, I am no longer. This guy is a child. He is always seeking attention and approval. He whines and complains after games are over. Seriously, he reminded me of my 4 year old after game 4. “I don’t foul out” “I wish I earned it” and other such lines. He has openly shown his displeasure to his own coach, to the point he shows him up.

Lebron may be the most hated athlete because of his actions, so I am here to say “screw him”.

Lebron I hope you never win a ring. You have no respect for your own coach. He is The authority over you. Don’t show him up. I wish he had the balls to bench you and coach a huge win out of His squad in game 6 and then lose game 7. Lebron acts entitled. I don’t know many people who think several rings should be handed his direction. Last year in Dallas Lebron was a non-factor and disappeared in games. Instead of ripping the heart out of dallas he faded into an after thought the whole series. Well with the title king, did you expect Dirk, who I thought was sofT with a capital T beforehand, would just to hand you a ring. Sorry it didn’t happen like that.

You won the season MVP award and you aren’t even the best on the team , your teammate Mr. Wade is. Shut up and follow a true winner. You are dragging Mr. Wade down to your level. You are a Cancer that is spreading. Mr Wade Became Prince Whine after you arrived. He is also the closer, you might as well sit on the bench with the game on the line with the shot clock off. You will pass the shot up again and again. In the business we call it choking. (You may be King of that.).

You act like you need attention from everyone. Well you got it, a lot of us Ðont like you. You would call us all haters, well that is the furthest thing from the truth. We speak the truth, you have talent but you are not near the best.

The whining got so bad for the “king” I was reminded of my 4 year old wanting a treat and me saying no. After game 4 saying you don’t foul out was precious. Saying you didn’t earn 6 fouls, you were right it was more like 14.

Lebron your arrogance is on another level. You need to watch a young man named Kevin Durant & take note. He should be your role model. He is humble, he puts his Team first, not himself. He doesn’t self gloss. He will hopefully win a title this year. He is the model of what a champion is, even without a title.

Note to Lebron: I hope this gets to you some how so you can “take notes”. For the record I am not a miserable person as you once called your critics, then immediately reminded us you are rich.

Lebron it would just be nice to see you grow up. We may never like you or your behavior, if you were my kid, would earn a spanking. I am glad I am not your parent for that matter alone, because I would have sore hand.

Redskins? Quinn Jordan’s essay

 

I am posting this with the permission of Quinn Jordan, Who did the research and writing of this incredible piece. Sure I have written things in the past  and added blogs within my own blog. I believe this to be important to be seen by all.

My personal feelings are not as strong as Quinn’s, I will say that the name needs to stay, in spite of 2 facts, 1. I hate the Redskins as a franchise ever since Darrel Green forced a fumble on the 2 yard line  and 2. Dan Snyder being a deplorable human being, this is one fight he has right.

 

 

 

 

The Washington Redskins and a Manufactured Fight Over Honor and Racism

It was a cold, wintery Sunday afternoon in December of 1983. I was 8 years old and stuck inside with not much to do. I was hanging out in my room alone, which I often did when I couldn’t go outside to play, watching my old black and white tv set that only had our local channels. On channel 3 there was a football game on. I wasn’t the biggest football fan at the time because I was more into my Star Wars toys. As I watched this football game I became intrigued. One of the teams had a boring helmet that just read ‘Giants’ on the side. The other team however, had a really cool looking helmet with an Indian head logo, were playing on a “painted dirt field” something called “The Hogs,” a guy named “The Diesel,” and an awesome fight song. Their nickname sounded really cool too, the “Redskins.” I thought the Redskins were the coolest thing ever! I had no clue what kind of controversy that the Redskins nickname bore. To me it was just the name of a football team and ‘redskin’ meant Indian. Fast forward 30 years and the innocence of “Redskins” has all but faded.

As I sat down to write this essay, news broke about the Redskins having their trademark canceled. Darren Rovell, a writer for ESPN, reported that “The United States Patent and Trademark Office has canceled the team’s trademark on the basis that it is “disparaging to Native Americans.” Native American activist groups have been in a legal battle with the Redskins for more than two decades, trying to get the ‘Skins trademark revoked. In by doing so, the Native American activists are trying to force the Redskins to change their name because they believe it to be a racial epithet. The Washington Redskins are under heavy pressure from, not just Indian activist, but also members of the United States Congress. In May 50 US Senators signed a letter addressed to Redskins owner Dan Snyder urging him to change the name. Erick Brady, a sports writer for USA Today, who cites a quote from the letter, stating, “The NFL can no longer ignore this and perpetuate the use of this name as anything but what it is: a racial slur.”

Pressure is mounting from the media, government officials, and a few Indian activists to force the Washington Redskins to change their name. However, the Redskins should not change their name because the fact ‘redskin’ is a racial slur is debatable and the Redskins have been honoring the Native American since their beginning.

Is ‘redskin’ a racial slur? That is a topic of debate that even highly accomplished scholars can’t even answer. J. Gordon Hylton, a Professor of Law at Marquette University, writes that if you were to look up the word ‘redskin’ in “widely used English language dictionaries”prior to 1983 you would find that ‘redskin’ was simply a noun for an American or North American Indian (“Why”). Hylton claims the 1983 edition of “Webster’s Third International Dictionary and Collegiate Dictionary, 9th Edition” were the first dictionaries to add the phrase “usually taken to be offensive” in addition to the definition of ‘redskin’ (“Why”). So ‘redskin’ was not defined in our dictionaries as a racial slur prior to 1983.

‘Redskin’ as a racial slur gained a lot of momentum in 1992. The “bloody scalp” theory gained national recognition thanks to Indian activist Susan Shown Harjo. Adrian Jawort, a member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe and a writer for Indian Country Today, writes that Susan Shown Harjo, in her trademark case versus Pro Football, which she and her fellow plaintiffs would go on to lose because of a lack of evidence supporting her claim, claimed that ‘redskin’ meant ‘scalp’ and it “derived from referring to bloody Indian scalps during the onset of the French and Indian War.” However, Ives Goddard, a Senior Linguist at the Smithsonian Institute of Natural History, writes that Harjo’s claim is “unfounded” and that the word ‘redskin’ has a very “benign” beginning (1). In the beginning of ‘redskin’ Goddard states that ‘redskin’ was first used by “three chiefs of the Piankashaws, a Miami speaking people, sent to Lt. Col. John Wilkins four talks, written out for them in French, in 1769” (4). He then goes on to explain the early known published “occurrence of redskin” happened in July of 1815 with two speeches made by Indian chiefs (6). Goddard concludes in his seven month researched article, that “It is clear from the earliest citations that ‘redskin’ was regarded as an Indian expression” and that “the early users of expression that were translated as ‘redskin’ no term for ‘Indian’ with the same literal meaning is known” (11 and 12). With having a better understanding of the word ‘redskin’ and where it came from, evidence shows that this word was developed by Native Americans and used by the Indian people.

The ‘redskin’ is a racial slur because it means “bloody scalp” definition given by Harjo, is sensationalism and revisionist history. Creating a meaning of grotesque negativity where one didn’t exist, was a way for an activist to fit her political agenda and try to win sympathy from the American public that just didn’t know any better. How many Americans are bothered by the Redskins name because they were told, by a Native American, that ‘redskin’ means “bloody scalp” and that is what the Washington football team is named after? In a personal interview with Goddard, he stated that ‘redskin’ “was an authentic word for Indian” and that “this is a political debate and in the rules of [a] political debate you don’t need evidence. It [‘redskin’ meaning bloody scalp] is based on an allegation of fact which has never been supported by the usual ways [historians] support the allegation of fact.” The ‘bloody scalp’ theory is the main theory behind ‘redskin’ being offensive, however no evidence has been found to back such claims. A large portion of people have had their opinions formed based on information that is misleading.

Although ‘redskin’ has a pretty innocent beginning, it is not clear when the word developed a negative connotation. Hylton writes in his article, “Why Is the Word Redskin so Offensive?” that there are examples like “Earl Emmons’ 1915 Redskin Rimes” and Hollywood Westerns that used ‘redskin’ negatively. He also states that many examples can be found of ‘Indian’ being used “while making derogatory comments” namely “Gen. Phillip Sheridan’s much repeated observation that The only good Indian is a dead Indian” (“Why”). By 1969 ‘redskin’ was defined with a “qualification” as being “informal,” which, according to Hylton, “may be a recognition that ‘redskin’ was passing out of everyday usage” (“Why”). As noted earlier it wasn’t until 1983 that dictionaries qualified ‘redskin’ with any kind of acknowledgement of it being offensive (“Why”). There just aren’t many facts to support
the claim that ‘redskin’ is a racial slur. Furthermore, the fact that there is not much evidence to pinpoint exactly when the word became a negative connotation, is proof enough that the “redskin is a slur” argument is debatable.

Another reason the Redskins should not change their name is because the name Redskins is meant to honor the Native American. In 1932 the National Football League awarded George Preston Marshall and the city of Boston an expansion franchise. In the early days of the NFL, according to Hylton, it was common for new expansion teams to adopt the identities of their hometown baseball team and since Marshall’s new football team was to play their home games at Braves Field, home of the National League’s Boston Braves, it made sense for Marshall to name his football team the Braves (“Before” 888). However, the very next season Marshall was faced with a dilemma. Hylton writes that in “1933 Marshall and the owners of Braves Field failed to reach an agreement to renew the team’s lease for the upcoming [NFL] season” (“Before” 889). Which meant that Marshall had to find a new home venue for his football team to play. The other home stadium option for Marshall was Fenway Park, home of the American League’s Boston Red Sox (Hylton 889). So with his team moving from Braves Field to Fenway Park, Marshall felt he needed to come up with a new identity for his football team. Marshall had an affinity for the Native American culture, “due to his family’s connection with the town of Romney, West Virginia” and the fact that Romney is a site “of one of the best known Indian burial mounds in the eastern United States” (Hylton “Before” 888). In keeping true to form Marshall decided to go with Redskins, in part to keep the Native American theme and also because Redskins sounds similar to Red Sox.

There is also the belief that Marshall named his team the Redskins to honor his new head coach, William “Lonestar” Dietz, who was a “well-known college coach widely believed to be Native American” (Hylton “Before” 888). While there may be some debate as to the validity of “Lonestar” Dietz’s Native American ancestry, there is no debate to the fact that Marshall wanted to have an authentic “Indian” football team (Hylton “Why”). In 1933 six different Native American players wore the Redskin Indian Head jersey (Hylton “Before” 889). The Washington Redskins are named after Native Americans and are meant to honor the great American Indian.

Furthermore, another important way that the Redskins honor the Native American, is by their famous Indian head logo. A logo that according to Kerry Byrne, a Native Historian, was designed after Tammanend. “Also known as Tammany, [he] was a 17th century Lenni Lenape (Delaware Indian) sachem and confidante of William Penn” (Byrne). Byrne states that “Tamanend’s influence on the colonies and the young America nation was so profound that he was dubbed the Patron Saint of America and holidays were celebrated in his honor.” Going back to the earlier discussion on Marshall choosing Braves as his original name to coincide with the NL’s Braves, it should be noted that baseball’s Braves owner, James Gaffney, was a “political operative and influential member of New York’s Tammany Hall” (Byrne). It is important to note that because Gaffney adopted Tammany’s likeness for his baseball uniforms (Byrne). While playing at Braves Field the new NFL team adopted the same “Indian head logo of Saint Tammany” (Byrne). Understanding the origin of the Redskins nickname and logo it can be proven that George Preston Marshall did not choose Redskins to intentionally disparage or discriminate the Native American people. Marshall was trying to honor the American Indian with a name that was strong, a name that was symbolic, and by hiring a Native American coach and six Indian players.

Many people object to, and are offended by the Redskins name, including Native Americans themselves, and these people want to see a name change. However, it is unclear just how offended the Native American people are as a whole. Kathleen Hall Jamieson wrote an article covering the Annenberg poll done in 2004. In the poll 768 self-identified Native Americans were asked whether Redskins was offensive or not (Jamieson). An overwhelming 90% said that they were not offended by the Redskins name (Jamieson). Although that is a small sample of the Indian population, ninety percent is an astounding number. The media is leading a charge to convince the public that ‘redskin’ is offensive to all Native Americans and that the term has always been offensive. In a personal interview with ReGina J. Zuni, a member of the Isleta Pueblo Tribe in New Mexico and a fourth generation Redskins fan, she said “If a Native American is offended [by ‘redskin’], then it is their personal choice to be offended. Not all Native Americans are offended.” It is also noteworthy to point out the name of Red Mesa High School. Red Mesa High School is located in Red Mesa Arizona. And why is that noteworthy? Because Red Mesa High School is located on the Navajo Reservation, and their nickname is…the Redskins! So if ‘redskin’ is so offensive to the Native American people then how can one of their own high schools use Redskins as their nickname? Furthermore, located in a town called Anadarko, “Indian Capital of the Nation,” Oklahoma, is the Redskin Theatre (see fig. 1). Redskin is still used by Native Americans today as a use of honor and remembrance.

Another argument against the Redskins name is Indian activists and members of our government claim that ‘redskin’ is a slur just as offensive as “nigger” and that is why the Redskins should change their name. To back such a claim, ‘redskin’ would have to have a similar historical context as “nigger.” Calvin Fogle writes that “The racial slur “nigger”, which is considered by many to be one of the worst racial epithets in the United States, if not the worst from a historical and socio-political standpoint” (83 and 84). The term “nigger” has always been identified with slaves and the mistreatment of blacks in our country, and to this day is still recognized as the most heinous word in the English language. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary states in their on-line description of “nigger,” “a member of a socially disadvantaged class of people” and “it now ranks as perhaps the most offensive and inflammatory racial slur in English.” The same cannot be said for ‘redskin.’ While the “offensiveness” of a racial slur is purely subjective and each slur carries their own weight, the argument that ‘redskin’ is just as offensive as “nigger” is one that doesn’t work. ‘Redskin’ doesn’t have the same historical context that “nigger” does and there are not any facts to back such a claim. The fact that there is even a debate as to whether ‘redskin’ is even a slur in the first place is proof enough that the two slurs are not equal.

While I am certainly sympathetic and have tremendous empathy for those that have been discriminated and disparaged against, the Washington Redskins should not be bullied into changing their name by a few activist and our government. The fact of the matter is the Redskins are not discriminating or disparaging. The American public should not be brainwashed to fit a political agenda over something that is simply debatable at best. Yes there are Native Americans that are offended by the Redskins name. However, there are plenty that are not. Do the voices of those not offended, not matter? There are Native Americans that believe Redskins is honor, tradition, and pride, see Red Mesa High School. If we remove all Native American logos and sports nicknames, then we will also be removing the American Indian from our every day conscious. A great quote from an article on HTTR4LIFE states that, Melvin Phillips, a full-blooded Oneida Indian, said “Hey we used to be on the nickel, but then someone thought it was racist and now no one remembers us anymore.” Perhaps that is the government’s goal by pursuing this fight instead of focusing on the many pressing issues that plague Native American Reservations. Sports are a release for the American sports fan, Native Americans included. Sports fans love and honor their teams and players. Sports, if done respectfully, can honor the great Native American long thought to be forgotten. Despite the insane amount of controversy surrounding my beloved Washington Redskins, I still watch every game with the innocence of that 8 year old boy.

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Brady, Eric. “50 Senators Sign Letter Urging Redskins to Change Team Name.” USA Today.

USA Today, 22 May 2014. Web. 18 June 2014.

Byrne, Kerry J. “Hail To the Redskins: NFL Must Save Name, Image, Legacy.” Cold Hard

Football Facts. Football Nation, LLC, 15 Oct. 2013. Web. 18 June 2014.

Fogle, Calvin. “The Etymology, Evolution and Social Acceptability of ‘Nigger,’ ‘Negro,’

and ‘Nigga.’” Insights to a Changing World Journal 2013.3 (2013): 82-125. Academic

Search Complete. Web. 6 June 2014.

Goddard, Ives. “I am a Red-Skin: The Adoption of a Native American Expression (1769-1826).”

European Review of Native American Studies 19.2 (2005): 1-20. Smithsonian Institute.

Smithsonian Institute, n.d. Web. 6 June 2014.

—. Personal interview. 8 June 2014.

HTTR4LIFE. “Just Who is Ray Halbritter?” HTTR4LIFE. HTTR4LIFE, 19 June 2014. Web. 24

June 2014.

Hylton, J. Gordon. “Before the Redskins were the Redskins: The Use of Native American Team

Names in the Formative Era of American Sports, 1857-1933.” North Dakota Law Review

86.4 (2010): 879-903 Academic Search Complete. Web. 2 June 2014.

—. “Why is the Word ‘Redskin’ so Offensive?” Marquette University Law School. Marquette

University Law School, 1 Dec. 2013. Web. 7 June 2014.

Jamieson, Kathleen Hall. “Most Indians say Name of Washington “Redskins” is Acceptable

While 9 percent Call it Offensive.” Annenberg Public Policy Center. The Annenberg

Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, 24 Sept. 2004. Web. 19 June

2014.

Jawort, Adrian. “Redskins Not so Black and White.” Indian Country Today. Indian Country

Today Media Network, LLC, 13 Nov. 2012. Web. 17 June 2014.

Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster Incorporated, n.d. Web. 19 June 2014.

“Redskin Theatre.” Wikimedia. Wikimedia, 21 June 2014. Web. 21 June 2014.

Rovell, Darren. “Patent Office: Redskins ‘Disparaging’.” ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures, 18

June 2014. Web. 18 June 2014.

Zuni, ReGina J. Personal interview. 17 June 2014.

 

 

THE “N” WORD

nig·ger

[nig-er]  Show IPA

Usage note
The term nigger  is now probably the most offensive word in English. Its degree of offensiveness has increased markedly in recent years, although it has been used in a derogatory manner since at least the Revolutionary War. The senses labeled Extremely Disparaging and Offensive  represent meanings that are deeply insulting and are used when the speaker deliberately wishes to cause great offense. It is so profoundly offensive that a euphemism has developed for those occasions when the word itself must be discussed, as in court or in a newspaper editorial: “the n-word.”
Despite this, the sense referring to a “black person” is sometimes used among African Americans in a neutral or familiar way. The sense referring to other victims of prejudice, especially when used descriptively, as to denounce that prejudice, is not normally considered disparaging—as in “The Irish are the niggers of Europe” from Roddy Doyle’s The Commitments —but the other uses are considered contemptuous and hostile.
noun

1.

Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive.

a.

a black person.
b.

a member of any dark-skinned people.
2.

Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive. a person of any race or origin regarded as contemptible,inferior, ignorant, etc.
3.

a victim of prejudice similar to that suffered by blacks; a person who is economically, politically, or socially disenfranchised.
Origin: 
1640–50;  < French nègre  < Spanish negro  black
Word Origin & History
nigger

1786, earlier neger (1568, Scot. and northern England dialect), from Fr. nègre, from Sp. negro (seeNegro). From the earliest usage it was “the term that carries with it all the obloquy and contempt and rejection which whites have inflicted on blacks” [cited in Gowers,
1965]. But as black inferiority was at one time a near universal assumption in Eng.-speaking lands, the word in some cases could be used without deliberate insult. More sympathetic writers late 18c. and early 19c. seem to have used black (n.) and, after the American Civil War, colored person. Also applied by Eng.settlers to dark-skinned native peoples in India, Australia, Polynesia. The reclamation of the word as a neutral or positive term in black culture, often with a suggestion of “soul” or “style,” is attested first in the Amer. South, later (1968) in the Northern, urban-based Black Power movement. Variant niggah, attested from 1925 (without the -h, from 1969), is found usually in situations where blacks use the word. Nigra(1944), on the other hand, reflects a pronunciation in certain circles of Negro, but meant to suggest nigger, and is thus deemed (according to a 1960 slang dictionary) “even more derog. than ‘nigger.’ ” Slang phrase nigger in the woodpile attested by 1800; “A mode of accounting for the disappearance of fuel; an unsolved mystery” [R.H. Thornton, "American Glossary," 1912]. Nigger heaven, “the top gallery in a(segregated) theater” first attested 1878 in ref. to Troy, N.Y.
 the above was taken from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/nigger
         There has been a lot of talk about this word above in the sports world. I think the issue goes beyond sports, it goes into culture and racism. We hear stories about so and so using a racial slur on the sports field all the time. In some instances we hear of professional athletes using slurs off the field. I won’t mention names but I can think of one guy who played with Tebow in college that got a lot of press preseason for a racial slur, people were calling for his head, yet he played the whole season. Are there any lines these days? I can’t be sure of that anymore. We (society in general) cross the line so many times that the line that was once bold is now blurry and unrecognizable. Can we get that bold line back? Yes, only if we start somewhere, and what is a better place to start with the “N” word. I gave the dictionary definition, origin and history to start this article off.  I am sure there will be people that didn’t get to this line because of that. Well the article isn’t for them. This is about perspective and straight answers about a sensitive subject. My only goal was to show opinions, whether they agree with me or not on this subject. I don’t think differently about them for their opinions as I hope they would do the same for me.
     I have been asking friends and other writers their opinion on the “N” word and it has turned into something  I am ready to have out there. Several of the people I have asked to participate have previously written on the subject and with their permission I have taken what they wrote and posted it.

Blackredsoxfan

The Blog written by Antwan Staley

My Review of Don Lemon and Bill O’ Reilly Criticism of The Black Community

This entry was posted on July 30, 2013, in My CategoryMy Life events and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments

Yesterday I started my day as I do every morning by logging on to Twitter. Some of my followers were taking shots at CNN News Anchor Don Lemon for co-signing with Fox News personality Bill O’ Reilly, and their criticism of the black community. I guess hearing the truth hurts.

Bill O’ Reilly: “Raised without much structure, young black men often reject education and gravitate towards the street culture, drugs, hustling, gangs. Nobody forces them to do that, again, it is a personal decision.” 

I’m far from a Reilly fan, but he’s 100% correct in this instance. The black community has had a problem with murder and crime for years. Some blacks aren’t educating themselves and are gravitating to selling drugs, crime and having babies out of wedlock for years.

It’s time for us as a community to rise up and take responsibility for our actions. Your life is the way it is because you choose for it to be.

Instead thinking about becoming doctors, lawyers, or writers, some blacks think they’re only limited ways to make it in this world. You don’t have to play sports, sell drugs or rap to make it in this world.

The thinking of The Notorious B.I.G. lyric from the song “Gimmie The Loot” Either you’re slinging crack rock or you got a wicked jump shot” couldn’t be further from the truthThere are so many avenues that people can make that in this world and it’s time that we as a community start thinking outside the box.

A high school dropout makes on average $19,000 a year, a high school graduate makes $28,000 a year, and a college graduate makes $51,000 a year. This a huge difference of money over a lifetime. This is why education is very important and why people should value it.

Don Lemon: “If you’re sagging, I mean — I think it’s your self-esteem that is sagging and who you are as a person it’s sagging. Young people need to be taught respect and there are rules.”

The problem I have with young men sagging is, these men expect to gain employment or be taken seriously with their pants hanging to their butts. No one is going to hire you if you come into a company with your pants sagging. They will just throw your application in the trash. If you want to be taken serious, wear your pants on your waist.

Lemon: “By promoting the use of that word (nigga) when it’s not germane to the conversation, have you ever considered that you may be just perpetuating the stereotype the master intended acting like a nigger?”

CHRIS ROCK, COMEDIAN/ACTOR: “We took this word, and we made it into poetry. “

I had a friend of mine recently who works for the police department and he’s a supervisor. He told me that he has a lot of his employees use the word nigga on a regular basis at work. He eventually had to fire someone for using the word while on the job.

Just because Jay Z, Lil Wayne, Kanye West use the word, doesn’t mean you should. Those guys are millionaires and they are using it as poetry and art as Chris Rock alluded to. I cringe when I heard young blacks and even other races using it.

At first blacks only used the word nigga, but now Hispanics and even whites believe it is cool to use it. I have the thinking that no one should use the word. It’s confusing people of other races and it’s degrading our race.

Why use a word that still to this day is disparaging to the black community and our ancestors. As the great James Baldwin said,

 “You can only be destroyed by believing that you really are what the white world calls a nigger” (James Baldwin).

Lemon: “Finish school. You want to break the cycle of poverty? Stop telling kids they’re acting white because they go to school or they speak proper English.”

This hits home for me because I’ve heard that I was trying be white my entire life. Reason people have said I want to be white because I’m a well-educated, I speak properly, watch NASCAR and hockey and I’m a black man that dates outside of my race.

I grew up in a middle-class home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina with one mother and also with the help from my grandmother. While we were far from rich, many people thought my family and I were not like most black families. Maybe it was because I had an aunt and a mother, who were both college graduates growing up. Maybe it was because I was a college graduate as well.  Whatever the reason was, I was always having to defend my blackness.

The whispers of myself not acting the way a black guy really started in high school. While all the girls would flock to my friends who would stay either in trouble and/or not really focused in school, I would always get put in the friend zone by a lot of black women. It seemed like the more trouble my friends got into, the more they were loved by black women ladies.

I even had a women who I was dating at the time tell me she thought you only dated white girls because how properly I talked. Even though a majority of the women I have dated recently are white, I’m very open to dating women of other races.

As far as waiting NASCAR and the NHL, I wasn’t aware certain sports belong to certain races. I watched every sport there as a kid as my grandmother would tell you and I continue to be a huge sports fan. I’m not going to stop watching a sport just because it is considered a white sport. I’ve never heard another race define what is white and what is black like African-Americans.

Lemon: “Just because you can have a baby, it doesn’t mean you should. Especially without planning for one or getting married first. More than 72 percent of children in the African-American community are born out of wedlock.”

72 percent of children in the black community being born out of wedlock is an embarrassing statistic. I never wanted to deal with the baby mama drama or be a father that saw my child a once a twice a week. I always said I wanted to plan and have a child the right way because it’s tough raising a child.

My mother gave birth to me at age 16 and I saw how tough things were for her and my grandmother. While my mom went on to college and became an RN, it was never easy. She busted her butt going to school full time while having a part-time job at McDonald’s in college.

You have to have some type of a male figure in a child’s life. Yes I had my grandmother and mom, but I later had my stepfather, who would end up being a great person I felt like I could talk to about advise and life.

Studies show that a majority of black men in prison never had a presence of a father or male figure in their lives. I was blessed to have my grandmother and mom and a stepfather as a teenager because so many of my high school friends ended up in jail or having multiple children out of wedlock.

You may not like what Lemon and O’ Reilly said, but it’s accurate. The black community needs to stop with the sagging, tattoos on their faces and stop believing someone has to talk or act a certain way to fit into their community. No other race tears down their own race like blacks and people and this needs to change. If blacks ever want to evolve, these things have to change.

The above is by @blackresoxfan Antwan Staley  and the link is http://blackredsoxfan.com/2013/07/30/my-review-of-don-lemon-and-bill-o-reilly-criticism-of-the-black-community/

 

 

Mass Confusion Of The N Word

The N wordThe N word. It’s a word that has polarized a lot of people in our world these days. Back in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, that word was used by White people to downgrade and insult Black people. Like ESPN writer Jason Whitlock said, “It was more than likely the last word you heard before you were hung.” But over the years, the word has had a momentum switch of sorts to where rappers have given the word a different usage. Now people try to use it as a term of endearment. For example, ESPN columnist Michael Wilbon said that he received a few texts or voicemails before from other Black people that congratulated him using that word. The conversation hit many different points and opened up a dialogue that needed to happen. How do we use the word or do we even use it at all?
Personally, I can say that I have been on both sides of the fence in my thinking before. When I was in high school and in college, that word was definitely more prevalent in my vocabulary. Even though the N word was not something I used all the time, it was something that I did use in speaking to some of my friends when we would talk. At that point in my life, I saw nothing wrong with that word at all. I was desensitized. I saw myself as flipping the word to bring a brand new meaning. And many others had the same view as I did. But as I got older, I began to take things just a little more seriously as it pertained to that word. I had incidents where some white people used that word and other assorted words to address me. Fast forward to now and that word is not allowed to be used or said at all in my household. Over time, I began to understand some of the power that word had beyond what I thought as a kid growing up in this world.
ESPN’s Jemele Hill had some interesting words in this special. She said “In our own groups, people use certain words and it is ok. But outside of our groups, it seems to not be ok.” The theme here is familiarity. The example Jemelle gave was of one when she is with her girlfriends. She said they call each other a B&%$* when they speak to each other and everything is cool. But when a male or someone they don’t know calls them that, they have crossed the line. In that essence, she has spelled out what a big issue is in the usage of the N word. Some pockets of the Black community feel that it is ok to call someone the N word because he/she looks like we do. But in the same breath, we get upset when someone not like us (non-Black people) use the word. Here lies the confusion in the usage of the word.
The real truth is the word will forever have negative connotations no matter how it is flipped. The word keeps getting spit out over and over on rap songs and in movies, yet Black people get upset over it when someone else says it. Honestly, there is something wrong with that type of thinking. And I am not excluding myself in it. Many times we as Black people listen to songs that celebrate that word while in the next breath we are jumping on someone for saying the same word and not being Black. In all honestly, it is a battle within. A battle within Black culture as to what we want to do. Some want to rid ourselves of it while others want to change the connotation of it. And like two ships in the night, one will continue to pass by the other while we continue to have this battle over and over again. Some will get the points that were said, some will take them over the top, while others will completely not understand the dialogue that was produced. The word has been de-sensitized. And due to that, mass-confusion has become of it to the detriment or growth of our communities, depending on who you ask.
If you have not had a chance to watch the Outside The Lines special on The N Word, you truly need to watch and see what happened.
For more conversations on sports and other things, feel free to follow me on Twitter @General_MP.

the above was written by Mike Patton @General_MP the link is here http://patton26.wordpress.com/2014/02/23/mass-confusion-of-the-n-word/

In response to my question What is your opinion on the “N” word?  Andrew Vigliotti  responded  I feel like the use of the “N” word is used too much as a term of endearment in society. I find it troubling that African Americans use the word with the (a) at the end in positive dialogue. If I’m around an African American and I hear the term used, I feel very uneasy. Not necessarily because they are going to be upset, as it’s deemed acceptable by the black community, but because I know the real meaning of it and it’s wrong.

I think the black society now-a-days forgets about the civil rights movement, and what that meant for them as a community. To think they were treated unfairly and degraded with white men and women using the term with the (er) ending at the end of it back then haunts me.

I feel like the voices of the black community: Jessie Jackson, Don King and even in the sports world like Stephen A. Smith, need to express more publicly the Hippocratic tendencies that African Americans use in every day life. For instance, when I always attended schools I would hear a group of black people use the term and it’s deemed acceptable. However, if a white person, or any other race for that matter, came up and expressed the word in the (a) or (er) form, they would get harassed and even assaulted, if not worse.

In the words of Ken Carter in my favorite movie Coach Carter. “Your using it teaches him to use it.”

So the black community has to look at themselves in the mirror and think: Why do I want to use this word towards others in my race, when I know if a member of another race were to say it back, I’d be ready to fight? Do you see white people calling each other “crackers?”

Nope!

I believe people need to stop backing down from this discussion and look at the situation at hand. The hypocrisy needs to stop. And it starts with the African American community.

you can find Andrew on twitter  @Andrew_Vig or for his work with outsidepitchmlb.com

In response to my question What is your opinion on the “N” word?

Amen Seu Ra replied “Very difficult to put into context. It is believed the word derived from a African Goddess named, “The Naga Goddess”. The N-word was used in ancient chanting ceremonies to invoke the kundalini energy (the ancient Greeks referred to her as Medusa).

Through the slavery period the N-word became a mocking, demeaning term first used by the Portuguese. A scared word or term that once had profoundly intrinsic connotation, was now the epitome moral deprivation.

In today’s entertainment sub-culture, the word is freely used amongst many nationalities as a term of endearment, when greeting or referencing a grouping of people.

With all being said, it all depends on how it is used and if its accepted being used in the particular culture and environment.

You can find Amen Seu Ra on twitter @Amenseura

In response to my question What is your opinion on the “N” word?  Turron Davenport replies “

I honestly feel that trying to police the use of the N word is excessive censorship. As Metta World Peace said, the word is a part of urban lingo. I don’t agree with it but it’s a common way that many guys refer to each other. The first step would be to as Herm Edwards put it “Take care of it at home.” What he meant by that was to have the teams implement removing the word from the locker room. Some compare the field to the office place and that is not wise because there is so much emotion that is put out on the field. The game is an emotional game and things get said that aren’t always the most family friendly. Unfortunately, that’s part of the game. These are elite athletes that have a tremendous competitive gene that many can’t begin to fathom. There is so much adrenaline flowing that there is no time to really think before some of the comments at times. It’s just how things work.”
Turron was relating this to the NFL seeing there is a lot of talk about  there being penalties being enforced for using the “N” word on the field. He also got comments from players at the NFL combine that he shared concerning this very topic. Below are the responses he sent me.
Lamarcus Joyner “I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I am Jesus Christ but I don’t use that kind of language. Honestly, I don’ t talk much on the field. I can tell you that you will here some things said on the field that aren’t even said on the streets. If the commissioner says that it bad for the game, then it’s bad for the game.”
Marqueston Huff Wyoming Safety/CB: It’s football. Competitive guys out there. Some words will be said. It’s not a word that you want to say but it’s no way possible that you are going to eliminate that word from the whole entire game. It’s a game of emotion. You go out there and say some things that you might regret later but at that time you are not thinking about that. You hear it on the field but a lot of times it’s not used as a racial term. It’s a way that some guys just speak
Turron can be found on twitter  @TDavenport_BSN,  baysportsnet.com profootballcentral.com and probably 10 other things I am forgetting.
Chris Davis was grilled by a Seattle reporter regarding his use of the word and he said that he can’t comment on that. The reporter asked him if he uses the word and Davis again declined to comment. The reporter responded saying that his declining to comment means that he uses the word. Davis replied that he didn’t say that and refused to touch the topic.
 In response to my question What is your opinion on the “N” word?  Lamont Broadus  replied “Nigga is just a word. Anytime we give any word credence, we give it power. A white man can call me a nigga, it doesn’t move me.”
ME: Is the n word part of your vocabulary in every day life?
Lamont: “No but I’ve used it before in the past as I matured I used it less. Most see it as a term of endearment but I don’t.”
ME: Why do some see this as a term of endearment?
Lamont: “Culture raised that way I guess”
Lamont can be found on twitter @TheSportologist and route4sports.com
In response to my question What is your opinion on the “N” word?  Gee Steelio replied  “While understanding the horrible history that comes with the “N-Word” – right now it had become a word of two different meanings separated by generations. I use it amongst friends because that’s a word that has become part of my vernacular due to friends / environment I grew up in. Bottom line, like it or not , people have the right to say whatever, whenever they want though… I guess u can take bits and pieces from that. It was lengthy lol. I’ve been using that word for most of my life man. The NFL is f#@(in retarded”
Gee can be found on twitter @GeeSteelio , youtube.com/GeeSteelio, geesteelio.wordpress.com TheOpNation.com  – http://Route4Sports.com  -http://NationalGridironNetwork.com 
 In response to my question What is your opinion on the “N” word? Joe Wedra responded “I think it’s an unfortunate word that people throw around a bit too much. Personally, I find it interesting that there are two totally different sides to the “n-word” argument. Some find it to be normal because they grew up with it, others find it extremely offensive. Either way, it’s probably best to leave it out of our vocabulary.”
 Joe can be found on twitter @JoeWedra , RussellStreetReport.com http://Route4Sports.com  and if I am not mistaken writing sports columns for his local paper.
 In response to my question What is your opinion on the “N” word? Robyn Vandenberg replied ” I realize it’s used amongst the black community however I never understood why. I am a white woman and I don’t call my friends who are white “honky” . I do However don’t have a problem pointing out racist remarks when I hear them. Luckily I don’t.”
Robyn can be found on twitter @WhatWouldTB12Do  , http://www.racinnation.net/ 
 In response to my question What is your opinion on the “N” word? A friend whom asked to not be named said “it

 shouldn’t be used in any part of life, never mind sports, that’s all I am saying about it.”
     I have shown what others have said about this, so what do I Think about the N word you ask. Over the years I would say that I really didn’t hear the word until I left home. I have never understood why any would use this type of language. I don’t understand how if one culture can use a hateful and say that they have “embraced it”, yet if someone outside of that culture uses it, it is a reason to go (fight). You are instantly a racist, insensitive, hateful, and many other things. Some would go as far as wanting to kill you,whilst using that same word to a friend as a term of endearment. This is plain and simply an oxymoron. The words origins to me imply slavery and the n word being interchanged with the word SLAVE. I don’t think you would ever hear any in this day and age saying things like. “How is it going, my Slave.” I don’t believe the word should ever be used by anyone, not for any reason. I have a friend that says “context is everything” (referring to the Bible), this word is an exception to that.  The word is rubbish, if it were translated from the Greek, it means shit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why you shouldn’t watch the Olympic Games

       Many of you have been glued to the Olympics.  In the past week I have heard this too much. “I can’t get enough of this.” They will go into great detail of what events they have watched.  The droning goes on and on whilst my eye glaze over because it is so apparent they don’t know what has happened besides the results and the media bullet points on the athletes that we have never heard of, unless they were in a previous Olympic games.  I will detail why you shouldn’t watch the Olympics in the rest of the article. 

 

      Let me start out with the sports or events in the Olympics.  Could you before the Olympics name a person from each of the following: bobsled, luge, skeleton, biathlon, cross country skiing, ski jumping, aerials, ice dancing or speed skating? My money is on no you can not.  If I put a picture of the best american  athletes in plain cloths in front of you, could you name the person and event they are in? (answer is no  or not a chance) Could you name the NHL teams of all the USA hockey team players or even the top 2 lines and the penalty kill top unit ?  Some hockey fans will say yes to this and I am okay with that, however that is the only thing they are watching faithfully.  

 

     How many people can honestly say they follow luge, biathlon, ski jumping, curling or any of the other events? I live in MN and I can tell you that curling is a niche sport, and there are some people that are really into it and compete at a club level. They may actually know the people in that event and are exempt to watch curling. As for the rest of you, you probably think that you can do the sport .   I know of 2 ski jumps in the state, I don’t know anyone who is crazy enough to do it.   My point is if you do follow any of these, you are in the vast minority. The rest of us don’t care to know unless it is once every 4 years.

 

     People who are watching have automatically become “experts” on the events of the Olympics.  I have heard many people talk about several events as if they know all about the sport. They base their expertise on the media bullet points and a quick google  search of the said participants. If you have caught on to what I am getting at, they have no clue what they are talking about. The media has no clue about the events they do a crash course on the event and get the basics  of what is going on, enough to BS their way through a broadcast  without having a clue what is going on. It is a shame this happens and the coverage sucks because the networks don’t want to or are unwilling to pay for proper experts of the sport. 

 

 

       Bob Costas is the media host. I think I have said enough right there.

 

      For 3 years there are sports like the biathlon going on and yet in my 35 years of life I have never seen I single event appear on television beyond the Olympics. Why is this? Because there is no following beyond the niche group that does this sport. I will compare this to a Niche sport I play, Disc Golf. I follow the professionals and follow the events, yet never have I been able to watch it on TV. The reason is, there is not a lot of people that follow the sport. I am not complaining about a sport not getting any run, but when it gets run in the Olympics, it should get more than a once in 4 year look. The sports are difficult, the competitors are gifted yet no one knows who these people are. No one cares besides when they are representing our country.  This is a reason in itself not to watch because you don’t care the other 3 off years.  Out of the people that will read this how many can honestly tell me the best cross country skier or ski jumper in the nation and where that person placed in worlds without looking it up? My guess is 0.

 

 

     People watch the games and think they can go out and do these events. They disrespect the athletes that are there giving their all to win. I hear I could do this. I have heard this so many times and so many times have I laughed at these idiots who think this way. First off, there is no way that they are that good. Secondly these athletes are very gifted and make what they do look easy. Do I appreciate it? Yes I appreciate that they are good (maybe great)  at what they do and by me even thinking that looks easy it is disrespectful. Most couch potatoes are like this in some way.  Do us a favor stop watching, go to the gym and hit the treadmill and lose the weight you gained thinking “I can do this or  do it even better”, after all we are an overweight nation.

 

 

           When it is all said and done you can do what you want. Watch if you want to. Please don’t tell me about it. There is no way to tell you how little I care about this once in every four year event, with events that I know nothing about and athletes I have never heard of before and won’t hear from again.

 

     

 

       

 

 

Not your usual from me

      I know it has been way too long  since I posted anything. It hasn’t been from lack of desire, topics to light up the world of sports with or ambition. Things got crazy. Life got real and my life and my family’s life in general got put on hold for the second time in 2 years. This post is not a complaint, a plea for sympathy or for your charity or anything of that nature. This is in fact what I personally went through as a person, what I have been able to gather from the happenings and what has gone on with my son “Chipper” in the past 2 years.   I will say this idea and topic was a stolen idea from a friend and fellow blogger Mike Patton.  I am thankful to come across his work, both in sports and in personal life blogs he has written. (Look him up on twitter @General_MP you won’t be disappointed) 

 

        May of 2012  life was peaceful. We (Elise and I) were getting back from the cabin after spending memorial day weekend fishing and relaxing with the boys and my parents. Elise was seven months pregnant at the time. I went back to work for a half day of work and the plan was to go home early to unpack and take care of the boys. I got home and Elise says ” I think we should go in to the hospital, I have been having braxton hicks contractions a lot .” This was something unusual for us and my response was simply “Okay, can I take a shower first?”  She responds back “Sure.” 3 minutes later right before I got in the shower, Elise yells “JOEL WE NEED TO GO NOW!!!!”  We hurriedly packed the boys in the car and race off to the hospital. When I say race, I mean pedal to the metal and weaving through cars 95mph and stop lights are yield to oncoming vehicles only. These are the rules right?  After all she is in labor. We get in to the hospital into a brand new wing of a brand new hospital and 2 young boys that shouldn’t be with, after all, we are pros at this by now, this is our third kid.  The doctor tells us this is real labor and we will be delivering today.  I take the boys out of the room a 2nd time and start making calls to get them out of the hospital. I make one call to a longtime friend that lives 10 minutes away, straight to voice mail, called his wife, you guessed it, voice mail. I left messages with both. I go down the mental list of who is the closest and who do I trust with my boys… well maybe my brother (only 45 minutes away) he answered and said he could get up there. 30 seconds later both my longtime friend and his wife call at the same time and Andy is on the way up. I get everything squared away with the boys for the night. I fielded several  calls from my in-laws and parents on the way back up to my wife. The doctor tells us we will have to be transported to a NICU (newborn intensive care unit) via ambulance.  Less than 2 hours later “Chipper” is born. He is immediately taken to the next room.  He is tiny, I caught fish over the past weekend that would have eaten him as bait. He is tiny, I can’t get over how small was. There was a team of paramedics nurses and doctors preparing him and me for the 30 minute drive. I am getting told an amount of information that many and most people wouldn’t be able to process quickly enough to keep up. You wouldn’t believe how much information is blurted out in medical terms mostly.  Our ride arrives and we briefly swing into the delivery room where Elise is. She got only a moment to see our new baby as we were whisked away.

 

      We get to the hospital in Edina around midnight. Yes cake eater territory.  In this time from one hospital to the other I did as much research as humanly possible. I will call this a crash course on premature babies. Do I know everything? No. But I was as informed as I could be for the amount of time I was given to prepare. I start watching His monitors like a guy with OCD. I know exactly what blood test they have done and the purpose of each test is. I found the answers for what the acceptable levels of certain toxins were and how to read the charts the nurses show you.  2 O’clock a.m. rolls around and a nurse practitioner comes over and says “we are going to intubate your son.” I respond “Why, what is wrong?” Her response “because it the right thing to do.”  What??? really??? ” Why?” I asked. She replies arrogantly “Because I said so.”  At this point there was probably a visible puff of steam coming out of each ear. I couldn’t believe  she said that. I am 34 years old, not a 5 year old. I wanted a real answer, not mother hen over here treating me like a 5 year old. I demanded to talk to a F***ing Doctor. I am sure there were several more F bombs that came out as I dressed down this inconsiderate wannabe Doctor.  I won’t say this was one of my finer moments of life by how I talked to this lady, but I will tell you that I am confident I made the right decision to talk to a real Doctor, and get real answers while asking questions ask to why a treatment is recommended and how they came upon that solution. The Doctor agreed to hold off and do another set of blood samples that were current as to the ones that were taken right after birth.  The conclusion that was eventually agreed on was, not to intubate “Chipper”.  Toxin levels in the blood were nowhere near the dangerous level upon a second test.  9 a.m. comes around and I have not slept yet. I have very low trust levels of anyone coming in, not to mention I don’t want to miss changes of any sort going on with my child. My parents called informing me that the boys are at home and will be with them for the week, and “oh yeah Elise discharged herself at 1230 last night. Oh Yeah, Happy Birthday.”  

 

      I remember getting phone calls from people I barely knew from the church we started going to just over 14 months earlier. Deacons and Elders and my Pastor visited. This is almost something out of a fairy tale. I have never seen so much love from people outside of my family, and I have been “churched” my whole life.  What type of church is this?  I have only read about churches like this in the bible. Day 2 on roughly one and a half hours of sleep, and Elise by my side and the baby next to us, I tell Elise I need to do let out some angst. This is better known as Thursday night softball doubleheaders with some of the best players in my state on my team.  That’s right I played and went 14 for 16 with 6 doubles and 2 triples. (yes 16 at bats)  I got the best 45 minutes of sleep I had since the baby was born  with Andy driving me home. I showered and went back to the hospital with fresh clothes.  Over the rest of the week I rarely left, one of us was always at the baby’s side, and the boys were at my parents. We had friends come out of the wood work to help us. 2 families from our “new” church called and asked to help us with watching the older boys. My parents were not able to watch them full time. It was wasn’t a we are sick of watching your boys thing, it was more scheduling issues. Don’t get me wrong, I am very glad that mom and dad could help us, they have dropped things on a moments notice to help us out, I was super uncomfortable leaving my kids with people we didn’t know all that well. Sure we shared dinners with these families, but I couldn’t at the time called their kids by name.  What is this? Again what type of people are they? What are their motives? I had no clue how to handle this, how could I pay them?  How is Elise handling this?    How long is this going to go one for?  (Up to 2 months)   We ended up with 2 great families of friends, in whom I would bend over backwards for no questions asked.  We had so many tests go on for “Chipper” it seemed endless. You start to recognize the good techs from the bad ones.  The nurses you liked and the one you didn’t.  The Doctors you liked (none) and the Doctors you disliked (all). I first got to hold him 12 days after he was born. I was very heartbroken, angry over this. He is my son. I love him, let me hold him.  We ended up with bringing “Chipper” home 31 days after he was born.  We were exhausted and relived. Quite frankly we needed to have our family back together. I worked 8 hours a day and went straight to the hospital after work, Bags under my eyes restless sleep with nurses and techs in and out every 1.5 hours.  It was long coming, time to be a family again. 

 

 

      Moving to September 1, 2013. It is moving day all the boxes are packed and down in our garage. We are moving to a 3 bedroom upper lever house. The past week “Chipper” was under the weather not eating barely drinking and hasn’t pooped in over 7 days and hasn’t been himself. We ended up getting everything moved into the new place. I talked to my mom about the baby and how he is feeling. She said something along the lines of if it is like this tomorrow have him checked out. I agreed. Around 9 pm we were giving keys to the land lord for the old place right after he parted ways with us, “Chipper” vomited blood and bile. To the emergency room we go. Elise is super distressed and couldn’t hide it. I had no idea what we were walking into. “Chipper” puked all over the cloths he was wearing, all we had with was a blanket, in which I carried him into the ER, only to see a line 5 deep at the triage desk.  A nurse saw me holding “Chipper”  and  said “come with me now.”  We went straight to a stabilization room. She said ” I saw your face and you don’t seem to be the type that come to the ER for nothing.” I nodded and let her know what I knew was going on.  The Doctor came in and  examined my boy. xrays, IV fluids, and an ultra sound on “Chipper’s” distended stomach.  I had to leave when it came to the IVs. I had lost it. I had no control. The doctor came to us and said he needs to go to Children’s Hospital, there were way too many possibilities  for him to determine what is wrong. He said he could offer me much speculation besides  some of the obvious things like he can’t poop because there was blockage and that is the symptom and not a simple solution. For once I get a Doctor without an ego and he is sending me to someone else.  How can this be? He is a good Doctor. We don’t have any choice in this matter, off to Children’s hospital we go by ambulance, this time it is Elise’s time to ride along. I went home to prepare for what would be coming, hospital life. 

 

       Things in the next 12 hours are cloudy for me as to what is going on with “Chipper”. I went home to sleep. I slept a good hour or two. What is wrong? What didn’t I see? I beat myself up, questioned many things. Am I a good father? How did I miss this? Did I kill my kid by thinking he was just under the weather? What is going to happen with the older boys this time?  I have a new job I start on Tuesday, what do I do? I talked to my mom on the phone she was wondering what was happening, the best part was I had no clue yet. I didn’t want to know how bad it was. I was truly scared. I literally broke down in my car before even starting it. I was at a point where I didn’t even know what to pray for. I had no control. I finally realized how that felt. I was at the mercy of God. I wasn’t bitter, I was at peace with this. I was very broken.  I was needed as a husband and a father. Get up lead your family. This is what you need to do.

 

       Yet again families called, emailed, messaged us through social media showing support. Yet again the church shows up to help us. The same families we hardly knew a year ago are calling to aid us again. Who the heck are these people?  Oh yeah, this is what you call real friends.  I have spent some my favorite times with one of these families. Thanksgiving, New Years you name it, they are friends more than I could ever be to anyone. I know I can never do anything worthy of paying them back for their love for us and our family.  They have never asked for a thing from us, who does this?   They don’t do it for the recognition, awards, or political gain.  We had families bring us food at the hospital without being asked to.  My first day at the new job, they did a colostomy and determined He had hirschsprung’s disease. “Chipper” would need 2 surgeries to take care of this disease. The first surgery is a pull through colostomy. This entails them separating the colon and pulling it through the abdomen in which he would poop in a bag for up 2  months, sometime longer.  We would have to learn to change bags. This was daunting for us. We changed bags anywhere for once to 3 times a day for a month while the colon was healing. I can tell you this, if you think changing diapers is bad, you have it easy. For those professionals nurses out there that say it isn’t bad, don’t lie to yourself. This is by far the worst smell I has ever crossed my nose. It made me lose my appetite, and I am a fat man who likes to eat.  Not only does it stink, taking the bag off that leaked is not a treat, you have a baby that is in pain squirming to not have this bag “ripped off his skin”, I am guessing this is what “Chipper” would say. Then you have to clean the adhesive off, that didn’t come of further irritating the skin. and finally put the new bag on and hold it in place for 3 minutes so the adhesive sticks to the skin.  This was not a fun process, I feel for anyone who is in this position.   

 

      We get to the second surgery and everything went well, I again was at work waiting for word that all was well. That word came almost 6 hours after going in for surgery, on a Thursday night I spent at the hospital while watching the Vikings beat the Redskins and talking some trash to Quinn Jordan as the game was going on. It was seriously the nicest part about being in the hospital was that friendly rivalry call. we were discharged on Sunday morning and chilled out thinking it was over. “Chipper” seemed under the weather for a day and we took no chances and saw our regular Doctor who sent us by our own car back to Children’s Hospital for IV Fluids and observation.  1 more over night visit and we were out of there, hopefully for good. 

 

   I can tell you I have learned a lot and there are several stories within the story that I haven’t told. I haven’t told Elise’s or the boys part of the story. I have left out a lot of fluff like the 78 yard td run of AP’s vs Detroit that had a nurse run into the room to see if everything was ok, because I screamed in joy while holding “Chipper”. I can tell you that I have some great friends and family. A church family that does more than lip service “we are praying for you”. I have been to the point of where there was too much love going on and I merely left because I didn’t know how to take it. I have no words for it. I have many tears of joy from this trying time in my life, and many tears of pain, anger, and complete hopelessness, maybe it is helplessness, either way it was a burden I believe I needed to share. Besides everyone knows my opinion on Christian “bust” Ponder and Tony “can’t win big games” Romo.

 

       

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Real Questions With Quinn

So after I was done writing my last post in which I interviewed myself,  I determined I would have a couple of people  send me an email Interview. The rules were set as such: send your questions including your follow-up questions. Include tough questions  for me to answer. If you ask me 50 questions about the 1987-88 NFC Championship game I will kill you. So my interviewer is Quinn Jordan he hosts a radio show called Right on Q  on the The Sports Chronicles Radio Network. He is an author for route4sports.com thesportschronline.com and Washington Deadskins fan. So with that all being let the carnage ensue!!!

Q: First Joel, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to interview you. With that being said, let’s do this!!  ME: you are welcome
You live in Minnesota. You are a huge Vikings fan. Was becoming a Vikings fan a rite of passage?
    Yes I was Born Purple. My dad loves the Purple People Eaters and being a fan in the 80’s  with Chris Doleman, Keith Millard, Hank Thomas and Al Noga  on the D line and Scott  Studwell  at mike  and Joey Browner at safety and Carl Lee as your best DB, I grew up know Defense and what made the Vikings go. Half times  during Vikings games was me outside throwing a Nerf football around and “playing  defense” with those guys in the back yard. No joke this happened every Sunday.
Q: Who is your favorite Vikings player of all time?
   That is tough just to name one there are 4 guys that come to mind Chris Carter, Randy Moss, John Randle, and Joey Browner all come to mind. If I have to pick one, it is Randy Moss  just edging out CC who is an awesome guy and a good role model to young players like Randy .
Q: Why?
   Randy was a draft I was really watching and was becoming less of a novice fan and homer, I actually was reading and seeing scouting reports and I saw 4 or 5 full games Randy Played in at Marshall.  You could tell he was simply different as far as wide outs go. Before the draft I told a new friend and Packer fan that if we get him the Packers will be drafting DBs next year. I had no idea he would rewrite the history books for rookies but I knew he was good. Randy always played with passion and ran to the beat of a different drum, which is something I like.  Sure he said stuff like I play when I wanna play, which people I believe started to dislike him for that and give him more flack than what he deserved.  Bar none in my eye he is the Greatest receiver of all time.  He scored at a clip that no one besides Michael Irvin scored at  the guy could just flat-out win you games.
Q: Who is your least favorite Vikings player of all time?
Darrin Nelson
Q: Why?
   Really Quinn you ask me why? He fumbled away a Super bowl  and yes the Vikings would have won. How dare you bring up the Redskins.
Q: The Vikings had their most success in the 1970s, making it to 4 Super Bowls, while playing in an outdoor stadium. Do you think that there is a correlation between the team playing indoors at the Metrodome and the lack of success since the 1970s?
   No I don’t see that being the case as much as when Les Steckel ruined the team for a year before Bud Grant  came back and gave Jerry Burns the job. I believe the coaching has a lot to do with the sport of football more so than any other sport and if the coaches can’t get it done the players won’t get it done.  The knee in 98 and 41-0 were just bad coaching displays. 09 12 men in the huddle and a coach the got less out of more talent than anyone ever has. The next year was proof of that. we returned 18 of 22 starters.
Q: In your opinion SHOULD the Vikings new stadium be an outdoor venue like Chicago and Green Bay?
   I could care less but give me a retractable if you are giving me a choice.
Q: What is your honest assessment of Christian Ponder?
   Christian Ponder will not with a ring as a starter. He can not make the long out throws to the right side of the field. He is proving he is inaccurate. He makes too many unwise decisions with the ball. He is a bottom tier starting QB in the league. On draft day I must have tweeted 20-100 times my displeasure in that pick when we clearly needed to improve our defense and we should have gotten Andy Dalton in the 2nd round. Ponder is a game manager that frankly doesn’t do it  all that well. If you can fluster him early he will not be good at all. He throws too many interceptions to be a game manager, and is not a game breaker at the QB position.  I know a few that will disagree with me, but you are wrong and don’t watch every game like I do.
Q: What would you like to see the Vikings do at the quarterback position?
   I am okay with unknown guys. I see a raw guy like McLeod Bethel-Thompson as the future. He has a huge arm and can make all the throw. I think we should Draft high for another QB or call number 4 for one more year.
Q: Ok. That enough Vikings questions. Notice how I didn’t ask any questions about the 1987 NFC Championship game? :)
   Well technically you did via my answer
Q: I know that you play slow pitch softball. What would you say is your favorite softball memory?
   I have a lot of memories playing softball. I have play on some of the worst teams and some of the better teams inn state. I have 3 that are up there. The first one that stands out was a consolation game when I was 18 and my dad had convinced the team manager to pick me up to play Short Stop. We ended up in an extra innings affair with 2 outs me at the to bat with first base open. The manager said we need you. I said “I’m going to win it right now” I slashed a walk off to the gap in left center with my Dad on deck.   Its up there quite high in my mind.  2 Seasons ago I had a horrible slump and couldn’t buy a hit. I started the season off hitting into 3 double plays in 2 games and was STRUUUUUUGGGGGGLING . I ended that slump in the 2nd to last week of league play  in the 2nd game going 4 for 4 with a walk off  measured off the fence with no knocks left. Those 2 are very high up there but 11 years ago August 12th I was play the first game of a tournament with my now wife coming to watch me play for the first time. In the 6th in we were down by 1, I was getting sent home and the 3rd base coach changed his mind yelled back I stopped and gruesomely tore my ACL.  I didn’t stop playing I switch from short stop to pitch the rest of the tournament and hit  .875 for the tournament while getting our team enough points for worlds where we took 4th and I finished the season playing before having surgery in the winter.
Q: What exactly is disc golf?
   Disc Golf is like golf minus the golf clubs and golf balls, you replace that with Discs (Frisbee is a trademarked name thus Disc Golf)  and chained baskets  are your holes.  It is play similarly to golf, to finish a hole  your disc need to end in the basket just like a ball going into the hole.  Discs are specialized much like irons and woods utility clubs, disc golfers have Drivers midrange  and putters  and disc that do different things for different abilities.  The best thing I can say is check out so;me of the clips on Youtube.  Search for guys like Gregg Barsby and Ken “the champ” Climo  and my guy Will Schusterick to name a few of the pros.
Q: How did you learn of this game?
   A guy from work told me about it and taught me a little and I went on from there to start playing once in a while to all the time during the summer to playing year round in the snow and this year at night, yes you heard me at night. it is called Glow and it is more fun to play at night than during the day. We use a brand called Throw lite up here in MN that are amazing and light your disc well.
Q: You are a huge MMA fan. Who is your favorite fighter?
   I am glad you said MMA not UFC first of all. My  favorite current fighter that isn’t retired has to be Jens “Little Evil” Pulver  great story watch his documentary Driven.
The guy that is in limbo and would take a fight if you gave it to him is Renzo Gracie.
Retired fighter Kazushi “the Gracie Hunter” Sakaraba that guy never stopped fighting he was a warrior well past his prime. And a guy you can get Renzo to swear about on twitter.
Q: If you could ask UFC owner Dana White one question what would that question be?
   There are about 500 questions I would love to ask Dana White all serious with me being a huge MMA geek. But the question i would ask would be this. UFC start with no weight limitations then went to 3 weights to even the playing field for fighters and to get the sport to conform to fighting forms in the USA.  Would you ever pursue creating an open weight class division for all fighter to fight for that belt?
What do you think Dana’s answer would be?
Are you bleeping kidding me. These bleeping weight classes are here for a reason. No way I would Bleeping do this. What type of bleeping questions was that?
Q: Are you a fan of boxing?
   I was until MMA back in the beginning UFC 1
Q: In your opinion what does boxing need to do to save their sport?
   Well Mayweather Fighting Pac would help. Removing Don King and Bob Arem and any other corrupt promoters from the sport would do a lot.  Have exciting fights no boring patty cake matches. Someone knock a fool out in a big time fight. Find the Next Mike Tyson, or Ali.
Q: The NHL has currently locked out its players. What are the reasons as to why we don’t have hockey right now?
   The owners LOCKED the players out. The owners much like in football are biding their time for the young kids that don’t have the huge deals to start to hurt. They are being unreasonable. I believe the players will not risk canceling a season and will get screwed in the CBA somehow.
Q: Will there be NHL hockey this season?
   Depends who you listen to. I listen to Lou Nanne and he thinks it will get done. I truly hope he is right
Q: Can the NHL recover if there is another lost season?
   Yes, they may need to relocate a team or 3 to more lucrative markets, like Seattle  and Quebec for starters.
Q: How can the NHL make their game a better TV product?
    Good announcers. A lot of fans are novice fans don’t know much about the game. I think they need to commentate

Disc golf throw

Disc golf throw (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

more like a class room for a few years to understand the game, unless you are in Minnesota we don’t need that. HDTV makes the game better a red line 45 degree camera may be cool depending on how low the NHL would let you put the camera over the ice.

Q: If you were the Commissioner of the NHL what changes would you make to help make hockey more mainstream?
 Well it will never be a full mainstream sport. People in states like Texas don’t care about hockey and they won the cup down there. I really don’t think the south gets winter sports.
Q: I see that you have a wordpress account. What made you want to start writing?
  Nothing made me start writing.  I always enjoyed writing about things I like. I reached out to Glenn Erby @thacover2 on twitter and Turron Davenport @TDAVENPORT88 and asked if I should start writing this and if they would read what I wrote. I got some great encouragement from them and you got the “King’s Crown is Cracked” as my first piece.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
   5 years is a long time. I will be married to Elise for 15 years. My oldest will be 12 middle  will be 9 and the youngest 5. Between baseball with the boys and most likely me coaching and playing softball which I don’t intend to ever give up.  Riding mountain bikes hopefully one of my destination trips that  I have wanted to take will pan out. Playing Disc golf and being able to compete in advance tournaments would be great. As far as jobs go who knows what will happen as long as I can provide for my family I am happy.
Q: Excellent. Well Joel, I have to be honest. This is the first scripted interview that I have ever done. How did you like the questions?
I loved it, Thank you again for doing this. I hope you enjoyed the interview as much as I did.

About Me and my recent interview

Well for starters my name is Joel Schafer.  I am married to my wonderful wife who puts up with me better and more than any one else could and can imagine. We have 3 boys all J names.  I am highly involved with sports.I play  slow pitch Softball (ASA USSSA WSL), playing on A and B  type tournaments having face some of the well known players in the US like Geno Buck and Playing with the likes of Chaun DeMars  to name drop a few.  I have been mountain biking for over half my life and love getting out on the dirt riding pristine single track trails, working on my bike and riding when ever time permits. It is the one sport I am not competitive while doing it. I have in recent years picked up the sport of disc golf and actually have put a lot of time getting better at this sport. I have cashed a couple time this year while playing on league nights. I went from a guy that was a +15 -18 in 18 holes to a guy that is often at or under par (depending on the course). I also love fishing  being in MN we have tons of great fishing. Much of my fishing is done at the family cabin or with 2 of great softball friends.

A recent interview of me I hope you will find insightful and funny at the same time. there is one rule don’t read ahead.

Why am I so blunt and direct?  Simply the truth is easier to handle than pandering to someone.

Why do you use so much sarcasm?  I have always used sarcasm, it is an endearing quality that you will all come to enjoy.

What is your favorite pro sport to talk about? Baseball (more the historical side) or Football (more the present) or MMA  I am an MMA geek and can talk about fighting until your ears bleed, btw boxing is dead to me.

What is your least favorite pro sport to talk about? Soccer  I can’t stand the pre-madonnas in the sport faking injuries all the time, it is worse than the flopping in the NBA which is a close second.

What is your favorite Pro sport to watch on TV and in person? Hockey for on TV, Baseball in person behind the plate or just behind the dugouts are where I want to watch from and lower level only.  Football is the only sporting event I will accept upper level tickets to because of the perspective on plays are great.

It what order would you watch college sports if they were all on at the same time?  Hockey, wrestling, Football, baseball, volleyball, basketball

What order would it be for pro sports? MMA, NHL, NFL, Lacrosse (seriously go swarm) MLB, PDGA (disc golf) , PGA, MotoCross, any of the x-games events,WNBA, and then  NBA and I don’t allow soccer to be watched.

What is the best thing that happened to you? Meeting my wife and getting married followed closely by the birth of my 3 boys.

Other than sports what do you like to do? Cook, I love watching movies of all genres, and listening to music. Camp. Taste new beers and whiskey/scotch.

The place you would like to live if you can’t live where you are now? Atlanta or Seattle if it is big city, Cortez or Grand Junction  CO would be up there as well as Sedona AZ

Where are places you would like to travel? New Zealand for the mountain biking, I would love to road trip from home to Chili  on an epic Mountain biking adventure yes i mean drive there.

If you had a bucket list what are some of the things on that list to do? I have a short list of things  1000 parachute jumps out of a plane and then base jumping in a few select/some illegal places to jump. Swim with sharks. Catch a Mako shark fishing.

Who are your favorite people on twitter? Elise Schafer @sola5girl Glenn Erby @thacover2  Turron Davenport  @tdavenport88  Jason Fierman @sportsprophet1 Nick Firocelli @MrFicTSC Frank Trigg @franktrigg (yes the MMA fighter) Renzo Gracie @renzogracie Matt Diaz @diazfoundation

How did you get into blogging?  Well I liked talking about sports and I have been reading  Glenn and Turron’s work for a while and asked them if i should start writing. Glenn and Turron both said go for it. Glen has been very helpful  and encouraging to the process. I truly thank you both for the encouragement.

What is the craziest thing you have encountered since you started  blogging?  Some of the comments I have received by people who don’t have an opinion on what I write about but how I write it.  One comment had something to do with me having the grasp of the English language of a 5th grader.  On a positive side I have got to voice my opinions on sports on the air with the sports chronicles/ and route 4 sports guys which was something I never even dreamed of doing.

What is your advice to people thinking about writing? Do it. Write a lot, post what is good and work on what isn’t good.

How does it feel to interview yourself? It is a dream come true I couldn’t think of a better person to interview me because you won’t ask me stupid cliche questions. Thank you for extending me the opportunity.